Announcing the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards Longlists

“PEN America Literary Award Longlists” in centered text; golden rays sticking out from each corner

PEN America is honored to announce the Longlists for the 2022 Literary Awards. Our Awards are juried by panels of esteemed, award-winning authors, editors, translators, and critics. These authors are committed to recognizing their contemporaries, from promising debut writers to those who have had a continuous, lasting impact on the literary landscape. You can learn more about the 2022 Judges PEN America Literary Awards judges here.

The 2022 Literary Awards will confer over $350,000 to writers and translators. Spanning fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essay, science writing, translation, and more, these Longlisted books are dynamic, diverse, and thought-provoking examples of literary excellence.

Finalists for all Book Awards will be announced in January 2022. Stay tuned for more.

PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000)

2022 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award longlists book covers

To a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.

Judges: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Angie Cruz, Maurice Manning, Steph Opitz

The President and The Frog, Carolina De Robertis (Knopf)
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The Trees: A Novel, Percival Everett (Graywolf Press) 
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Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch: A Novel, Rivka Galchen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
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The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease, Daisy Hernández (Tin House Books)
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Palmares, Gayl Jones (Beacon Press)
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Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, Kristen Radtke (Pantheon)
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Milk Blood Heat, Dantiel W. Moniz (Grove Press)
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White Magic, Elissa Washuta (Tin House Books)
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Harrow, Joy Williams (Knopf)
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Mutiny, Phillip B. Williams (Penguin Books)
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PEN Open Book Award ($10,000)

2022 PEN Open Book Award longlists book covers

To an exceptional book-length work of any literary genre by an author of color.

Judges: Jaquira Díaz, Rigoberto González, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Khadijah Queen

Libertie: A Novel, Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin Books)
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Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts, Rebecca Hall (Simon & Schuster)
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The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease, Daisy Hernández (Tin House Books)
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Antiman: A Hybrid Memoir, Rajiv Mohabir (Restless Books)
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Names for Light: A Family History, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint (Graywolf Press)
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Transversal: Poems, Urayoán Noel (University of Arizona Press)
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Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods, Amelia Pang (Algonquin Books)
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No Gods, No Monsters: A Novel, Cadwell Turnbull (Blackstone Publishing)
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Curb, Divya Victor (Nightboat Books)
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White Magic, Elissa Washuta (Tin House Books)
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PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection ($25,000)

2022 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection longlists book covers

To an author whose debut collection of short stories represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise for future work.

Judges: Ling Ma, Manuel Muñoz, Oscar Villalon

Site Fidelity: Stories, Claire Boyles (W.W Norton & Company)
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Skinship: Stories, Yoon Choi (Knopf)
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Love Like That: Stories, Emma Duffy-Comparone (Henry Holt & Company)
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Eat the Mouth That Feeds You, Carribean Fragoza (City Lights Books)
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What Isn’t Remembered: Stories, Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry (University of Nebraska Press)
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Mad Prairie: Stories and a Novella, Kate McIntyre (University of Georgia Press)
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Milk Blood Heat, Dantiel W. Moniz (Grove Press)
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The Rock Eaters: Stories, Brenda Peynado, (Penguin Books)
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Objects of Desire: Stories, Clare Sestanovich, (Knopf)
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Give My Love to the Savages: Stories, Chris Stuck (Amistad Press)
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PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel ($10,000)

2022 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel longlists book covers

To a debut novel of exceptional literary merit by an American author.

Judges: Zeyn Joukhadar, Téa Obreht, Daniel Torday

Burnt Sugar, Avni Doshi (The Overlook Press)
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Swimming Back to Trout River: A Novel, Linda Rui Feng (Simon & Schuster)
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Dear Miss Metropolitan: A Novel, Carolyn Ferrell (Henry Holt & Company)
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The Recent East: A Novel, Thomas Grattan (MCD)
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The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Novel, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (Harper)
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Future Feeling: A Novel, Joss Lake (Soft Skull Press)
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Bed Stuy: A Love Story, Jerry McGill (Little A)
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Detransition, Baby: A Novel, Torrey Peters (One World)
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The Five Wounds: A Novel, Kirstin Valdez Quade (W.W. Norton & Company)
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Nightbitch: A Novel, Rachel Yoder (Doubleday)
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PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($15,000)

2022 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay longlists book covers

For a seasoned writer whose collection of essays is an expansion on their corpus of work and preserves the distinguished art form of the essay.

Judges: Jason DeParle, Hua Hsu, Marilynne Robinson

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, Hanif Abdurraqib (Random House)
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Homo Irrealis: Essays, André Aciman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
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Black Paper: Writing in a Dark Time, Teju Cole (University of Chicago Press)
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Cranial Fracking, Ian Frazier, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
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Endings & Beginnings: Family Essays, DeWitt Henry (MadHat Press)
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Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever, John McWhorter (Avery)
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These Precious Days: Essays, Ann Patchett (Harper)
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Graceland, at Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South, Margaret Renkl (Milkweed Editions)
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Languages of Truth, Salman Rushdie, (Random House)
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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, George Saunders (Random House)
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PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection ($5,000)

2022 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection longlists book covers

To a poet whose distinguished collection of poetry represents a notable and accomplished literary presence.

Judges: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Lia Purpura, Safiya Sinclair

Pilgrim Bell: Poems, Kaveh Akbar (Graywolf Press)
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The Wild Fox of Yemen: Poems, Threa Almontaser (Graywolf Press)
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Yellow Rain: Poems, Mai Der Vang (Graywolf Press)
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Reparations Now!, Ashley M. Jones (Hub City Press)
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Sho, Douglas Kearney (Wave Books)
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Cutlish, Rajiv Mohabir (Four Way Books)
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Heard-Hoard, Atsuro Riley (University of Chicago Press)
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frank: sonnets, Diane Seuss (Graywolf Press)
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Mutiny, Phillip B. Williams (Penguin Books)
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How to Not Be Afraid of Everything, Jane Wong (Alice James Books)
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PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000)

2022 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation longlists book covers

For a book-length translation of poetry from any language into English.

Judges: Caro Carter, Michael Favala Goldman, Parisa Saranj

Exhausted on the Cross, Najwan Darwish (New York Review Books)
Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
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Edinburgh Notebook, Valerie Mejer Caso (Action Books)
Translated from the Spanish by Michelle Gil-Montero
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Everything I Don’t Know, Jerzy Ficowski (World Poetry Books)
Translated from the Polish by Jennifer Grotz and Piotr Sommer
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Words as Grain, Duo Duo (Yale University Press)
Translated from the Chinese by Lucas Klein
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The Voices & Other Poems, Rainer Maria Rilke (Sublunary Editions)
Translated from the German by Kristofor Minta
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I Name Him Me: Selected Poems of Ma Yan, Ma Yan (Ugly Duckling Presse)
Translated from the Chinese by Stephen Nashef
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Outgoing Vessel, Ursula Andkjær Olsen (Action Books)
Translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen
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Ova Completa, Susana Thénon (Ugly Duckling Presse)
Translated from Spanish by Rebekah Smith
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Catcalling, Lee Soho (Open Letter Books)
Translated from Korean by Soje
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Damascus, Atlantis, Marie Silkeberg (Terra Nova Press)
Translated from the Swedish by Kelsi Vanada
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PEN Translation Prize ($3,000)

2022 PEN Translation Prize longlists book covers

For a book-length translation of prose from any language into English.

Judges: Almiro Andrade, Mayada Ibrahim, Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, Sharon E. Rhodes

The Divorce, César Aira (New Directions)
Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews
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FEM, Magda Cârneci (Deep Vellum)
Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter
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The Touch System, Alejandra Costamagna (Transit Books)
Translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman
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I’m in Seattle, Where Are You?: A Memoir, Mortada Gzar (Amazon Crossing)
Translated from the Arabic by William Hutchins
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New Year, Juli Zeh (World Editions)
Translated from the German by Alta L. Price
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Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine, Klara Hveberg (HarperVia)
Translated from the Norwegian by Allison McCullough
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Migratory Birds, Mariana Oliver (Transit Books)
Translated from the Spanish by Julia Sanches
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Faraway, Lo Yi-Chin (Columbia University Press)
Translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang
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The Last One: A Novel, Fatima Daas (Other Press)
Translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud
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Kaya Days: A Novel, Carl de Souza (Two Line Press)
Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
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PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000)

2022 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award longlists book covers

For a work that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of the physical or biological sciences and communicates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience.

Judges: Jonathan Safran Foer, Michele Harper, Lauren Redniss

The Memory Thief: And the Secrets Behind What We Remember — A Medical Mystery, Lauren Aguirre (Pegasus Books)
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This Is the Voice, John Colapinto (Simon & Schuster)
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Holding Back the River: The Struggle Against Nature on America’s Waterways, Tyler J. Kelley (Avid Reader Press)
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Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, Avi Loeb (Mariner Books)
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The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (Bold Type Books)
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Fox & I: An Uncommon Friendship, Catherine Raven (Spiegel & Grau)
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Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade, Nathaniel Rich (MCD)
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Count Down: How Our Modern World is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, Shanna H. Swan (Scribner)
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Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World, Lisa Wells (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
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Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive, Carl Zimmer (Dutton Books)
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PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000)

2022 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography longlists book covers

For a biography of exceptional literary, narrative, and artistic merit, based on scrupulous research.

Judges: Luke Dittrich, Paul Golob, Imani Perry

The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest to End Deafness, Katie Booth (Simon & Schuster)
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Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II, Daniel James Brown (Viking)
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King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B.B King, Daniel de Visé (Atlantic Monthly Press)
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All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler, Rebecca Donner (Little Brown and Company)
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Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World , Phillip Hoare (Pegasus Books)
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The Gambler Wife: A True Story of Love, Risk, and the Woman Who Saved Dostoyevsky, Andrew D. Kaufman (Riverhead Books)
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Two-Way Mirror: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Fiona Sampson (W.W Norton and Company)
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Orwell’s Roses, Rebecca Solnit (Viking)
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Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight, Julia Sweig (Random House)
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The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense, Edward White (W.W Norton and Company)
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PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000)

2022 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction longlists book covers

For a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective that illuminates important contemporary issues.

Judges: Emma Copley Eisenberg, Dr. K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Chanel Miller, Dagmawi Woubshet

Pure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia, Elizabeth Catte (Belt Publishing)
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Children Under Fire: An American Crisis, John Woodrow Cox (Ecco Press)
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Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City, Andrea Elliott (Random House)
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The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed, Wendy Lower (Mariner Books)
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All that She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family’s Keepsake, Tiya Miles (Random House)
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Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, Reuben Jonathan Miller (Little Brown and Company)
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Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods, Amelia Pang (Algonquin Books)
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Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday)
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Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, Sarah Schulman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
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How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, Clint Smith (Little Brown and Company)
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